Reaching the legal drinking age can be an exciting time for many young people in Ohio. You may have patiently waited until you turned 21 so you could go out with your friends, take out your ID and order an alcoholic beverage. You may have some older friends who have more years of experience with alcohol under their belt, but before you take their drinking advice, you may want to remember that not everything people believe about alcohol and sobering up is true.

Even though you do not intend to become stumbling drunk on any occasion, drinking too much can happen more quickly than many people believe. If you are out with friends or at a party, drinking games, encouragement to drink more from friends, not drinking water and more can all have an effect on how quickly the alcohol affects you.

Is it still safe to drive?

Because you did not plan to drink much, you may not have made plans to have an alternative ride home. Trying to find a sober friend to take you home or even calling a rideshare service and picking up your vehicle later are always good options. If your friends suggest any of the following alternatives for sobering up, think twice before taking them up on their advice:

  • Splash cold water on your face: Though cold water on your face may feel like a shock to your system, it does not sober you up or lessen the impairment caused by alcohol.
  • Drink a lot of coffee: Again, while drinking coffee may make you feel more awake, it does not accelerate the process of alcohol leaving your body, which is the only way to sober up.
  • Drinking just beer is fine: Though beer is not a “hard” alcoholic beverage, it still causes intoxication and impairment. A 12-ounce beer and a shot of whiskey have the same amount of alcohol, so “just beer” will not keep you sober.
  • Turn on the A/C or roll the window down: Blasting cold air in your face while driving will not have a sobering impact or improve your driving abilities. You could still end up involved in an accident due to impairment.

Though your friends may have good intentions, this advice can land you in a serious predicament if you follow any of these suggestions.

What if you do drive?

In the event that you mistakenly take their advice as fact, you could end up facing a difficult ordeal even if you do not have an accident. A police officer could stop your vehicle, and you could face an OVI charge. This issue could have a serious impact on your future, and if it happens, understanding your criminal defense options is wise.